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Recently, we have seen an uptick in fraudulent websites and social media ads attempting to scam Outdoor Research customers with “too good to be true” discounts and counterfeit products. These sites use tools to scrape the authentic Outdoor Research website, pulling legitimate logos and product images from the OR site and uploading them to fraudulent storefronts that use a URL similar to the genuine Outdoor Research URL, i.e., www.outdoorresearchstore.com. These fake OR sites will take payment via credit card, PayPal, or other digital payment and then ship incorrect, counterfeit, or even worse, no products at all. Customer service teams are then unresponsive when attempting to contact to resolve.
We have written this article to help our customers identify counterfeit and fraudulent websites and social media ads, resolve disputes with their credit card companies, and protect themselves from scammers posing as legitimate OR dealers.
Outdoor Research works with hundreds of authorized global retailers to provide access to our large assortment of apparel and accessories. These retailers are valued OR partners and a vital part of our business. Fraudulent Outdoor Research resellers do a good job of making their business appear legitimate, and it can be tricky to differentiate a legitimate business from a counterfeit one.
The tips below offer a quick checklist to tick off when attempting to distinguish between the two.
One quick way to verify if a retailer is an authorized Outdoor Research partner is to look them up on our website using our dealer locator tool. Follow the steps below:
There is only one authentic Outdoor Research e-commerce website. Many fraudulent websites will add words, letters, or numbers to our URL to mimic our site and deceive our customers. Examples of this are: www.outdoorresearchstore.com, www.outdoorresearchseattle.com, www.outdoorresearchpnw.com, etc... The genuine Outdoor Research URL will not contain any additional letters or numbers before the domain (.com). It will always and only be listed as www.outdoorresearch.com. If you are on one of our authentic product or category pages, other characters will be listed in the URL, but only following a forward slash, i.e., www.outdoorresearch.com/collections/womens-rain-jackets.
Too good to be true discounts.
Spelling errors or poorly written product copy and policy statements.
The product is not sorted into logical categories.
Links pointing to contact info email with @gmail, @msn, and @yahoo email domains for example, or no customer service contact at all.
There are fraudulent ads on social media and email offering fake discounts on Outdoor Research products. Do not click or buy from these ads or share them with others via your social media account. Outdoor Research does place paid ads on Facebook and Instagram, but they always point the user directly at our official website, www.outdoorresearch.com in the US or www.outdoorresearch.com/en-ca in Canada. If you are redirected to another website to complete your purchase, please follow the steps outlined above to verify the seller’s authenticity. We are aware of fake and misleading social media ads and are doing everything we can to shut them down. Please report fake or deceptive ads as scams to Meta (Facebook/Instagram) or TikTok; they have the tools to take them down. We are actively reporting information to Meta to remove scam ads.
If you have mistakenly purchased counterfeit products, were shipped the wrong product, or nothing at all from a fraudulent seller and cannot get in touch with the seller’s customer service department, there are recourse actions you can take. A simple phone call to your bank or credit card company is often all that is required to resolve fraudulent charges. Most credit card companies will immediately credit your account and launch an investigation to resolve the disputed charge, but it may be helpful to have a few items on hand to support your claim. Those items include:
PayPal and other electronic payment systems have their own protocol that must be followed to resolve fraudulent or counterfeit product disputes. Please refer to the website of the service you used to make your purchase for detailed instructions on how to proceed. You can also file complaints directly with the FTC (www.reportfraud.ftc.gov) and Internet Crime Complaint Center.
With hundreds of authorized retailers selling Outdoor Research products, there are plenty of online places to purchase legitimate OR goods. In fact, you are much more likely to purchase authentic OR products than counterfeit products. Still, it is always good to double-check the legitimacy of the seller before you make a purchase. The steps outlined earlier in this article are a great way to verify seller and product legitimacy, but if you have any doubt about the seller’s authenticity, please purchase directly from our official company ecommerce site.
OR has recently partnered with Red Points, an industry leader in fraudulent and counterfeit website takedown. We are working closely with Red Points to actively investigate and report fraudulent OR sites and retailers to remove them from the internet.
If you suspect you have found a fraudulent site, please let us know by submitting a message to our Customer Service team HERE. Please include the site url and how you found it (i.e. google search, facebook, instagram, etc.).